Hyundai Alcazar Diesel Automatic Road Test Review – New King is here?

The Creta has been a runaway success model for the Korean car maker Hyundai in India. The 5-seater SUV has not only sold huge but also has defined the segment since day one by becoming benchmark of sorts. Now Hyundai wants to repeat the same in the larger 6/7 seater SUV class with the Alcazar their first model which is based on the Creta. We drive the Hyundai Alcazar to find out how different it is from the Creta and if it can become the King of the segment where it competes with the Tata Safari and the MG Hector Plus read on to know all.

Food for Thought

Hyundai globally unveiled the Alcazar in March this year at a media event in Jaipur. The Alcazar has a many firsts to its credit. The 6/7 seater Alcazar has the longest wheelbase in its class of 2760mm. The SUV also has the largest boot capacity in its segment that of 180 liters. It also becomes the first car in its class and other segments too to get a wireless car charger for the second row. This also becomes the first car in its class to get 60 color ambient cabin lighting.

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Exterior

Looking at the Hyundai Alcazar first up and you instantly notice its road presence combined with its XXL length. The SUV stands at 4500mm in length 200mm more than the Creta, 1790mm in width, has a height of 1675mm 40mm taller than the Creta and a segment best wheelbase that of 2760mm which is 150mm more than the Creta. The SUV does share a lot of underpinning with the 5 seater Creta but has loads of differences too. Upfront you get the large Hyundai family cascading grille with dark chrome pattern. The all LED tri beam headlamps get good detailing in them while just above it you also get the position light. The front bumper is totally redesigned as compared to the Creta, here you get lot many character lines defining it along with a large wide faux skid plate. Triangular shaped fog lamps and turn lamps are placed on the outer edges of the bumper. These fog lamps get chrome strip surrounds offering some more classiness to the face. The bonnet comes with neat flowing character lines adding to the glamour to its front profile.

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Coming to the sides it is here that you see a lot of difference on the Alcazars styling as compared to the Cretas. You get flat styled fenders with sharp character lines and black fiber inserts giving the sides a muscular strong look. The SUV styling is further enhanced with step board which again is first in class; this step board is very practical and can take some good weight. Going ahead you get glossy masking on the window pillars. A thick glossy black band runs from just behind the rear door quarter glass and ends just above the front door window giving a very different look to the sides.  The third row extended area gets a large fixed glass. The roof is flat and not sloping down as on the Creta and gets silver colored roof rails along with a large panoramic electric roof and a shark fin radio antenna.

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Door handles get body color paint along with a dash of dark chrome finish on them while the large sized wing mirrors come with LED turn lights in them along with H logo puddle lamps in them. There is also a sharp character line that runs from the rear door handle and mates with the tail lamp defining the extended area of the Alcazar. The Alcazar drives on R18 sized tyres mounted on sporty looking dual tone diamond cut  alloys.

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Coming to the rear profile the boot area is all new with a upright large rear glass that gets a large spoiler, large sized LED tail lamps that look very catchy and get a rather unique honeycomb detailing in them. You also get a thick band running across the boot-lid finished in dark chrome and having the ALCAZAR branding boldly written on it. The rear bumper is large in size typical to an SUV and also gets a large faux skid plate along with stop reflectors on it and twin chrome tip exhaust.

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Interiors

Hop inside the Alcazar or rather step into the SUV using the highly practical step board and you will be instantly welcomes into its world. The dashboard comes finished in a dual tone finish with the top being black while the crash pad area finished in cognac brown. The plastic feels premium and more so because of its unique faux leather texture along with faux hand stitch pattern on it. The centre dash gets a 10.25 inch touchscreen AVN system like on the Creta.

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This comes loaded with all the connectivity features like Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, Mobile, Bluetooth, GPS, FM radio etc. The sound system on the Alcazar is the premium 8-speaker Bose sound system that makes its way from the Creta playing out some super fine audio quality. The climate control unit is the same single zone one as the Cretas but this one here gets blower for the third row seats. The biggest highlight on the Alcazars cabin is the 10.25 inch color display screen which is the instrument cluster for this SUV. This display is very sharp and offers crystal clear detailing on its screen.

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You get all the needed instrumentation detailing here and this can also be customized as per the drive mode along with some catchy animation during transition of the modes. We particularly loved the white dial display which reminded a lot like the one on the latest gen Mercs. This display also doubles up as Blind View Monitor which can be activated using the turn indicator stalk showing you either the left or right view. The steering is again borrowed from the Creta which s a four spoke design with all the MFD buttons laid on it and height/reach adjust too. The centre console gets glossy black inserts along with aircraft type sifter with perforated leather wrapping and metal inserts on it. You get the drive mode dial and traction mode button along with the electro mechanical hand brake with auto hold on this console. You get can holders placed behind the shifter and a closable storage bin which doubles up as the arm rest. The air purifier unit is placed in this unit which can be controlled from the AVN unit and also from the main purifier unit.

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The seats get faux leather upholstery while the driver’s seat gets full electric adjust. The seats offer excellent support and padding while the seating position is very commanding. The USP here is seat ventilation which is a very needed and welcome feature currently offered on many Hyundai cars. Coming to the middle row seats the trim we tested was the six seater one which came with captain seats in the second row. Getting inside the Alcazar is a breeze thanks to the wide opening large doors. Once in you can’t miss out on the spacious captain seats that come with headrests with cushions and can be adjusted manually for back incline. You can also manually slide ahead or back these seats as per need or comfort.

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There is loads of leg, knee and head room in the middle row offering very good comfort. Between the two captain seats is the arm rest which doubles up as a storage bin and also has bottle holders along with a unique vertical wireless mobile charger. Also enhancing the middle row comfort is the foldable table placed on the front seat back, you can place your tablets, laptop or mobile here while on the go.

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The third row seats are probably the talked about ones on the Alcazar, getting into them is also very easy. You just need to double tumble down the middle row seats that fold down offering good enough space for entering the last row. Once in you can pull back the middle row and get comfortable here.

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The last row is easily the best in class in terms of space, leg room, knee room and head room. You also get individual AC blower speed control dial along with two USB charge ports here. Comfort level is pretty good here and the seating angle is also pretty decent.

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The Alcazar comes with best in class boot space that of 180 liters that can be further extended by folding the third row or even the middle row if needed.

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Engine – Transmission – Drive

The Hyundai Alcazar comes with a choice of two engine options. You have the 2.0L Petrol engine that makes 159PS of power and 191Nm of torque with this you have an option of either the 6-speed manual or an 6-speed automatic transmission option. This is the same engine that also powers the latest Tucson here in India.

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For Diesel lovers you get the Alcazar powered with the tried and trusted 1.5L oil burner which makes 115Ps of power and 250Nm of torque. With this engine too you get the 6-speed manual or the 6-speed automatic transmission option.

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How does it drive?

We drove the Diesel Automatic and from what we feel this would be the model that would/should be most preferred by buyers here. This engine does duty on the Hyundai Creta, Verna, Elantra and also on the Kia Seltos & Sonet. The engine has been recalibrated to suit the 6/7 seater needs. Refinement level is good and the motor feels spirited at all times. The automatic transmission worked flawlessly in tandem with our throttle inputs shifting without any juddering. The drive quality on the Alcazar is very premium and stability is also of high standards. There is very low amount of body roll experienced which is very outstanding for a car this size and proportion. The speed buildup is good and the biggest USP of the Alcazar is its extra easy drive feel. You feel you are maneuvering a go-kart behind the wheels, thanks to the easy light feedback of the steering and the overall ergonomics that this SUV comes with.

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The Alcazar comes with all wheel disc brakes and we liked the way it came to a stop, a slight more bite would be good but we are not complaining. Hyundai have come a long way and their current breed of cars handle, drive and feel very lively. The other USP is the tight turning radius that this large long car offers, we also loved the way the 360 degree camera came to aid while parking, reversing or when we did some soft off roading giving us the bird eye’s view on unknown terrain.

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We did some high speed driving at around 120kmph and the Alcazar felt very safe, planted at all times.

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Safety & Connected Car

The Hyundai Alcazar comes with six airbags, ABS with EBD, tyre pressure monitor, hill assist, vehicle stability management, 360 degree camera, blind view monitor etc.

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On the connected car feature list you get Hyundai’s Blue Link connected car feature which includes over 60 features which you can control using the mobile app and from the car. You also get voice control feature where you can command the car to open sun roof, open window, ask the weather, ask cricket or football score etc using your voice.

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Verdict

The Creta helped Hyundai to rule the 5 seater SUV segment and the Alcazar will just do the same for the 6/7 seater SUV segment. The SUV has everything working for it in terms of looks, cabin space, styling etc. It comes with typical Hyundai long list of features with it. Engine options are also good with automatic options on both petrol and diesel. In terms of third row space the Alcazar is the best in class too. In terms of connected car features this one again rules the class. Would we recommend it to you? Yes we would surely do that. The Hyundai Alcazar is currently the best buy in the 6/7 seater SUV segment and here to rule. Competition Beware!

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Words – Ritesh Madhok
Photography & Video – Govind Gadekar

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